I've been setting up the Minecraft client on an old Dell Inspiron 1300 laptop running Windows XP. The basic installed failed complaining that I had a bad video card driver. The solution was to go into Control Panel, click Display, pick Settings, Advanced. Under that menu find Troubleshoot and turn down the hardware acceleration settings. Mine worked at just less than halfway turned on. In order to get the client to run without too much lag I had turn turn the render distance down and turn off other fancy graphics options.